121.Regulators of the legal professions must make it clear to those who regulate them that they will take strict enforcement measures in this area if they become aware of acts and behaviours that do not meet the high ethical standards expected of lawyers. This should be described in guidelines and appropriate action followed. The guidelines state that a transaction agreement should not be used for: 130.We can identify potential benefits when employers are asked to collect data and report on the use of the NDA in transaction agreements, as well as complaints and complaints about discrimination and harassment. However, we believe it is important to continue to think about how such data could be used, the type of qualitative control that could be provided by whom and the possible unintended consequences. 118.La main regulator responsible for the use of the NDA is the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), which regulates legal practitioners who design and advise the NDA. The main measure adopted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in this area was the publication of its March 2018 Warning Communication on the Use of Confidentiality Agreements (NDA).168 The Communication reminds lawyers of their ethical obligations and outlines some of the practices related to the use of the NDA that could lead to disciplinary action. These include the use of NDAs to “impede or deter a person from: reporting misconduct or a serious violation of our regulatory requirements” or “protected disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998” and the use of “inappropriate or disproportionate threats.” Since then, we have obtained evidence that the warning and media coverage that followed the #MeToo movement and our own 2018 report have allowed lawyers to become aware of the ethical use of the NDA in transaction agreements and that there has been some change in approach, with attempts to add more monstrous clauses becoming rarer. The labour lawyer, Jane Mann, told us: 134.For public and private companies, monitoring their anti-discrimination and harassment prevention measures, as well as ensuring that the NOA is not used inappropriately to mask this type of behaviour, is largely the responsibility of boards of directors and shareholders. The UK Corporate Governance Code, overseen by the Financial Information Council (CIF), contains some guidelines in this area, but they do not apply to all businesses. There is a potential for bad and discriminatory practices to remain unchallenged in companies where supervisors are not aware or concerned about these issues.
Tracy Vegro of the FRC told us that “it is not a legal requirement that the NAS and the amounts of these NAAs be approved by the Board of Directors” and that at present, “every NOA is not known.” She added that recent changes and guidelines to the corporate governance code suggested that “for the board of directors to request NDAs and buzzing, a good indicator of the underlying culture.” 184 A parliamentary committee heard evidence from both the civil service and the BBC that they had used few or no NAs. The first two documents attached to the page (guide and pro forma data collection) have been modified. The third document is currently unchanged. 166 Privacy Agreements – Privacy, Media Turtle, May 11, 2019 125.We welcome the upcoming introduction of a legal code of conduct on sexual harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace. The code will provide important guidance to employers, but we are skeptical of the effectiveness of the code without employers having to take appropriate action to address these issues.